Updated report: Finished in 2:37:29 and 5th overall.
It was a really nice day for a race, but the sun did heat things up too quickly and impacted nearly everyone I talked to. Overall feel really good about the results, even though I would have liked to have been in the 2:35 range, but I will take it. I ran with Chad Derum through about 17.5M then pushed it on the downhill after the dam. It was a real blessing to have Chad to run with as there were times in the middle miles where my legs were feeling really heavy and without Chad there to help keep us on track (both on pace and from pushing too hard which he reminded me of more than once). The water stops never felt good (either from an organization standpoint in getting the hydration or how it went down). Then, once on the Ogden valley floor things slowed down just a bit but this was expected. I started to cramp up just before 26M mark and had to slow up and shake out the leg so I could finish, otherwise I think I could have been under 2:37. I had the course at 26.34M, most likely due to the tangents I took on the course.
Great day for the blog, as we took 8 of the top 10 spots and had the 2nd place female finisher (congrats to Michelle!).
All my IF buddies did really well in their races as well as our friend we are staying with in Ogden (Pam did great in the HM!).
Once again, Ogden marathon experience is a great one!
1-5:54 Running nice and easy with Chad, chatting a bit to get to know one another, keeping the lead pack in sight.
2-5:59 Still just rolling down the hills feeling good.
3-5:57 The lead pack is now starting to pick it up and Chad and I are starting to put some distance on the 2:40 pack.
4-5:47 Still running nice and easy with Chad, the miles are feeling pretty good right now.
5-5:46 The sun is starting to come out and hit our backs a little, but the temp is still good (for now!) First Gu in this mile.
6-5:45 One of the lead pack guys (Ken) is starting to come back to Chad and I, we are still running smooth and easy, awaiting the start of stage 2 of the race.
7-5:48 I think it is this mile, or mile 6, that we pass Ken and the heat is now starting to come on as the sun is rising to hit our backs full on.
8-5:49 Off the initial descent, onto the rolling hills above Huntsville. Now the patient stage of the race begins, where the pace will decrease slightly and we must run nice and relaxed (as Chad will remind me). We start taking turns at 0.5M lead changes about here.
9-5:58 Rolling hills and heat building up.
10-5:58 Still running patiently, but I can start to feel the legs getting a bit heavy. So I make sure to take good hydration and take a second Gu at the water stop.
11-6:07 Legs are feeling heavy, but with Chad's help keep running at our expected pace.
12-6:03 Pretty good mile in the growing heat and rolling hills and we start to come to the reservoir.
13-6:10 Heading into Huntsville and the halfway mark. I think with hit the HM at 1:17:30ish. Take another Gu coming into the waterstop (I think).
14-6:02 Pass the HM start and crowds and we get ourselves ready for the only real hill.
15-6:32 Try to power up the hill and stay relaxed without burning ourselves up on the ascent, which again was not that bad.
16-6:06 On the rollers above the dam, Chad is pushing the pace everytime I take the lead. I am hoping that I was not holding him back at this point. Legs are feeling kinda heavy and think about telling Chad to go if he feels like it, but I refuse to give in.
17-6:07 Rolling on towards the dam. Take a Gu at the water stop and marshal on. This water stop kinda sucked as I missed the water when the volunteer dropped the cup. As we were running, however, a young guy came speeding up with a cup of Powerade and said "It looked like you needed this!". What a great volunteer! A slight downhill to the dam, but can't seem to get the legs moving to use the slight decline. Just being patient until we cross the dam.
18-5:44 Cross the dam and hit the hill hard and start pulling away from Chad, but hoping he would stick with me. Hit sub-5:00 at one point coming down here. Start passing more and more slower HM runners now.
19-5:54 Running relaxed and using the hill, but the legs are still having problems getting going. Grab another Gu at the water stop just before 20M mark.
20-6:02 This mile flattens a bit and also a slight uphill. Legs still heavy and the heat is still coming up.
21-5:57 Just running and trying to get the most out of these late miles!
22-5:48 Looking forward to this mile and mile 23. Running pretty well here. Starting to have to weave at times through HM'ers and calling out to move over so I can try to hit the tangents right.
23-5:30 Let it loose on this part of the hill and really feeling good, but I know what is coming up.
24-6:04 Hit the valley floor and the pathway, dodging HM'ers and now on the curves and up and down. Take another Gu.
25-6:23 Just want this to be done now.
26-6:19 Turn onto Grant street and can see the finish line ahead. Left leg threatens to cramp just before the 26M marker, hobble a bit to keep it going.
2:07 (last 0.34M or 0.2M) See Jeff and Maria with 0.1M left and hit the chute with whatever I have left.
(Tangents - 217 miles)